“Each year sees the disappearance of thousands of plant and animal species that we will never know — that our children will never see because they have been lost forever. The great majority become extinct for reasons related to human activity. Because of us, thousands of species will no longer give glory to God by their very existence nor convey their message to us. We have no such right.”
– Pope Francis
Are you aware of the most recent attack on our wolves? Both the Idaho State Senate and House have passed SB1211 and it is now waiting for Governor Brad Little to pass or veto the bill. The bill would allow for killing up to 90% of the state’s wolves (reducing them from approximately 1,500 wolves to only 150) and would reallocate $190,000 more taxpayer dollars to the Idaho Wolf Control fund to pay for contract killing of wolves. If this bill passes, there will be no limit on wolf tags and they can be killed by aerial gunning, snaring/trapping, and running them over by ATV/snowmobile. These are incredibly inhumane ways of killing and once again confirm how little the states are prepared to manage their own wolf populations. We have seen similar laws and attempts in Wyoming and Montana and now across the upper midwest since wolves were delisted from the Endangered Species Act in late October, 2020 by the Trump Administration. Please see the steps below the photo that you can take to make a difference before it is too late in Idaho.
“In Wisconsin, a 2012 state law requires an annual wolf hunt when the animals are not under federal protection. State wildlife officials had begun planning for a hunt next November, but were forced by a lawsuit from an out-of-state hunting group to hold one before the end of February. That hunt lasted only three days before state officials shut it down: Licensed hunters killed 216 wolves in that time, more than 80 percent over the allowed quota of 119, and nearly 20 percent of the state’s estimated 1,000-plus wolves.” – from MPRnews.org . In Wyoming, wolves are now classified as “Shoot-on-site-varmin” and can be killed any day of the year, without permits on over 85% of the state land. This is happening from CA, OR and WA to states like WI and MN. We are losing our wolves once again, and our voices are the only voice these magnificent creatures have.
I read two articles recently and saw photos about one of the packs in Yellowstone where the wolf pups keep moving the orange cones from the side of the road and are seen running around and playing with them like dogs do with their toys. Each morning when the rangers show up, they happily move the cones back to their designated spots after the wolves have their fun. These animals are so playful, intelligent and have strong family bonds within their packs. They are not a danger to humans and there are many simple practices that responsible ranchers have used to keep wolves away. One is called “fladry” and it is the use of colorful flags around herds of animals and the wolves leave the area completely alone. There is no part of me that understands this hatred and desire to kill them in such inhumane ways. Please help us protect them now.
Yellowstone wolf #778, known as “Big Brown” and the last of the Druid wolves – was killed when he moved outside park boundaries in 2016. He managed to survive a couple years in a pack outside the park in Jardine, near Gardiner, before being shot and killed. Photo by Brynn Alise Schmidt
The first thing you can do is call the Governor’s office and leave a message opposing this bill and asking that he veto it. The phone number For Governor Brad Little is 208-334-2100. Then, follow it up with an email to firstname.lastname@example.org – Please read the talking points below and refer to them in your calls and emails. The following bulleted list is from https://projectcoyote.salsalabs.org/actionalertidsb1211.
- If you are from or currently live in Idaho, state your town. If you don’t have connections to Idaho, explain why you will not spend your tourism dollars in a state like Idaho that wantonly slaughters wildlife.
- Over 76% of Idahoans believe wildlife belongs to all citizens and that management decisions should be made without political influence by the Idaho Fish and Game Commission – whose members oppose this bill 5-2.
- Taking authority away from the Commission and the agency biologists that inform them is not science-based management and sets a dangerous precedent for the management of other wildlife.
- Wolves cause less than 1% of cattle deaths and any depredation can be properly managed without this bill.
- Killing wolves at this rate will only support decisions to relist them with Endangered Species Act protections.
- Wolves alive and thriving bring value to Idaho in many forms, including ecosystem services and tourism dollars.
- The majority of Idahoans and Americans support wolf recovery at levels where wolves can fulfill their ecological functions. Almost no one supports wasting tax dollars to recover wolves, just to exterminate them again.
Next, please sign the Change.org petition at https://www.change.org/p/brad-little-stop-the-idaho-wolf-cull-sb1211 as well.
Lastly, there are awesome organizations you can give to financially. Here are a few I recommend:
Center for Biological Diversity
Western Environmental Law Center
We must act now to influence Governor Little’s action – let’s get him to VETO this bill! Thank you for your help in protecting these amazing animals.
Cover photo by Raphael Rivest, Shutterstock